Theories pass. The frog remains.
– Jean Rostand
The other day a flattened frog was to be seen upon the road from up by the forest to down by the minatory mainroad [with its majestic, maimed oak that must have seen horsecarts in its days], the frogster, its entrails splattered every which way and its body arrested in terminal, futile leap. „2-D fauna“, the german slang cruelly declares; what an anachronism in our times of awkward, plastic 3D goggles and the hamfisted motion pictures that come with them. Many of these movies too, to a disturbing degree, induce the nausea of the moment before getting run over, as I imagine it, a whirling horror that life is a little light-lit box of figurines and miniature scenery, to be replaced by that other, darker box – the casket, the shoebox-urn, the cuboid void with each corner in a separate infinity.
The frog again, non-dimensional. Flattened it was, its life squeezed out of it on either end by the tire[s] of an early morn‘ commuter. A picture was taken, cruelly as well, to serve some visual pun on breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on what time it would be fired off [eysh, the pointlessnesses modernday connectivity sets one up for] „Breakfast a la francaise!“ Along some such lines. Kahnemann‘s System 1 having a fieldday in the veriest sense of the word.
It seemed as though the frog‘s head had gone amiss, whowouldknow, sliced off by the tire‘s high velocity impact as it made its illfated leap for… freedom? Not freedom, simply the other side of the street, where things were/are indeed green or rather brown, at this inconsolable time of the year.
On a quick tangent: Amid the antispectacular appartmentblocks and hedges towards which the frog lept its course, by my unborn children I swear, there is a palmtree, frazzlefrondheaded, a harbinger of a phantasmagoric South, which forever we, easyjetting globetrottels, have to flee to by train or plane. Beach, brightness & brine, here we come. As though that utopian palmplanter, undiscouraged by the realities of fall and winter and fall again and winter most certainly, aspired to the ideal of a sunshone, oceanpolished beach. Nuthing less. The plash of all of water‘s fall on sand.
One could make out, upon closer mortisectional scrutiny, that the head, the anuran‘s head, was not uncoupled but rather so badly, boldly, bloodily folded back upon the dark green body as to be not recognizable. [Ohh, who are thou? What stricken sibling of mine lay here at last?] Nor could I, in my batrachian ignorance, make head or tail or viscera of all the other organic matter that had exited the body, at time of impact, at the moment of maximum compression so bloodily. I didn‘t know what was what, apart from the general gestalt of a dead frog‘s body with its splayed out legs as if something might yet be achieved in the way of locomotion. Bafflingly little blood for such a grizzly sight.
Am I making light of a frog‘s death? Am I mocking this member of the Ranidae‘s unfortunate expiry? Not so much, I wish only to illustrate or lay open or bear witness to the particulars of its premature crepuscular demise.
Wilco; to leapfrog to the central irony then, if irony is the word, if a word does exist describing these particular set of circumstances: the frog was run over by the early A.M car to become another frog, more precisely, „a raised or swollen area on a surface“. Mayhap I am misinterpreting this definition to meet the ends of my pointless illustration, openlaying, witnessbearing; surely raised or swollen implies that the rise or swell is an integral, material part of the surface in question rather than a separate object rising from it. However smoothly or bloodily. I am. Misconstruing. I am getting everything wrong there can be gotten wrong about a flattened frog. The frog, simply quacking, would have put it across much more eloquently, inflating its jowls to no end it would have mocked my attempts at explaining what has happened when I missed, evidently, the vision of a frog‘s eye perspective. Language itself within the stark space of single words [car, tire, frog, impact, viscera, concrete, death] is much clearer than I can ever aspire to be. „2-D fauna“ for all its casual cruelty, takes the measure of it by giving a notion of the improbable flatness a living being can be reduced to, aye, the vital dimension that is extinguished. This cousin of Kermit here, I‘m quite sure, lost more than a paltry 21 grams.
The frog in question was already dead, as dead as the concrete beneath it and thus to think of it as a frog of the ground, a frog of the street, a frog in the concrete shouldn‘t qualify as all that terrible a case of lexical or any other form of abuse. Go on, let him be a symbol or a cypher to consider a few more mysteries. The maximum damage has already been inflicted.
Only speculation will serve the latecoming wittness, often enough, I suppose, as truthful as an event halfassedly remembered. The falseness of all things past come to this here moment.
It seems only right for a frog to be flouncing about in the early hours of day on an 800 meter wide strip between forest and lake. As little as I recall any of the things I was certainly taught between brief naps in biology class these creatures are fond of humid environs, given their amphibian nature. Bogs, fens, fern-hemmed pools, damp mornings, roadside puddles, streamlets, lakeshores, what-have-thou. Our dewswept mornings are just such an environment and in the forest, the Bireggwald, with its stagnant pools I imagine many of its kith and kin to make a respectable home, spawning swarming tadpoles under the evergreen canopy to the end of days. The frog, oh other mine, floating at the surface motionless with two omnivoyant eyes poking out in search of if not flies then insects tout court, the legs tensile in predatorial alertness. But the call of the lake, the sirensong of the great body of water, which waterwrought being can resist to heed it? Neither friend, nor foe, nor frog. Only thus can I make sense of its perilous descent lakewards: a wordless longing for the great beyond, the need to be one leap closer to our AquaMater. Honesty here: it was never, could never be Terra. First there was light and then, so the story goes, there was hydrogen.